Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Social Media's Effect on Relationships

Please don’t be silly enough to let Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks contribute to the ruin of your relationship.

I saw a tweet (That’s a Twitter update if you’ve been living under a rock.) Sunday that mentioned how people shouldn’t let social media destroy their relationship. I had heard this before, but hadn’t thought much of it. But after reading that tweet, I decided to see what other people had to say about it. So I posed this question—“Can someone please explain to me how a social network can ruin your relationship?” The first response I got was from my friend Shannon (@youngshay112).

“A social network can broadcast selfishness, expose infidelity, but it can't create those flaws.”

To me, this means that people put too much of their personal business (both positive and negative) in their tweets and Facebook status updates. The whole world can see what’s going on in their lives. Now, if you don’t know, here’s a tip. If you are always talking about what you and your boo did; what your boo bought you; what your boo said to you to make you smile, I guarantee there is someone out there that wishes you weren’t so damn happy. So whenever given the opportunity, they are going to say little things that will make you question your relationship.

For example: Valentine’s Day just passed and you posted that you and your sweetie had a great time at (insert restaurant or wherever) and you really enjoyed your (insert present received). Some jealous chick or dude saw this and commented, “Humph, he did all that? I wonder what kind of dirt he’s trying to make up for.”

You may respond one or two ways. You may shoot off on the person and tell them to keep your boo’s name out of their mouth or that they need to stay out of your business. Or, you may say that your sweetie hasn’t done anything wrong and you may question the person asking them why they would say such a horrible thing.

Whichever way you respond “out loud”, in your mind, even if you are just a little insecure about your relationship, you will begin to wonder if your prince charming is really a frog-legged, two-timing cheater in disguise.

Let’s say he is messing around with some Facebook floozy, keep in mind that this wasn’t a matter of the busy body speaking this negativity into existence, but a case of something in the dark coming into the light.

This takes me to the next response I got to my question, my namesake, Susie (@SusieWriter) said, “people become obsessed with comments & w/e and become paranoid that that's a sign that you're cheating.”

This means that dude is always “stalking” his girl’s social media accounts to see who responds to her tweets or whose statuses she comments on. If it looks like she’s talking to this one dude a little too much, he sees that as a cause for alarm. This brings to mind a YouTube video that I saw some years ago titled “Facebook Breakup”.

To be fair, I asked my Facebook friends what they thought of this subject. Catherine stated:
“I honestly can't see how, but perhaps I lack imagination. I mean, maybe someone could find out something you meant to keep a secret, but then wouldn't it just be your own behavior that's ruining the relationship? Blaming FB or Twitter because you got caught doing something or were indiscreet would be silly imo”.

That’s my opinion as well. People have been messing around for years and getting caught, way before the advent of the internet let alone social media. It used to be where you would get an anonymous phone call from someone saying they say your boo with the next door neighbor or your sister. Now a days they sneak and take a picture of the creeping couple and post a link to it so you and all of your friends can see the drama unfold.

The last response is from my friend and coworker, Amanda.
“Insecurities.. jealousy ..lies. FB should b fun...”

There are a lot of insecure people that seem to always wonder if their mate is messing around on them, whether they are or not. Jealousy can come from two angles. First, one partner or both partners are jealous are always looking for dirt so they can accuse the other of doing something wrong. Second, other people outside of the relationship could be jealous and try to throw some salt in the game. Which leads me to the next point--lies. Some folks just lie on you for no damn reason and what better place to spread those lies than Facebook and Twitter? People love drama, whether it’s true or not. Social media, both Facebook and Twitter, should be fun. If you take some of the goings on too seriously, you will end up being a very unhappy person. Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt. You don’t want to be breaking up or getting a divorce because your boo comments on someone else’s updates or tweets more than they do on yours.

I’ve said all of that to say this—
1) Stop putting all of your business on the internet if you don’t want anyone saying something to you about it.
2) If you’re in a relationship, keep your goodies between you and your mate. This will keep the drama status to a minimum or it will be non-existent.
3) Let’s say (God forbid) that you’re going through a crisis (mid-life or otherwise) and you’re anxious to see if you still got it, and you see some pretty young thing or pretty old thing that can get it, make sure there are no pictures taken that could incriminate you. (shaking my head)

Please be safe out there.


social media for churches said...

The Internet is an amazing tool. But even as it's shrunk the world and brought us closer together, it's threatened to push us further apart. Like any useful tool.

Susie McCray said...

@Social media for churches

Yes, I agree. Double edged sword I suppose.